Thorough investigation leads to multiple charges against a 19-year-old resident
MARATHON – NEWS – On the morning of October 14, 2023, just shy of 11:00 a.m., officers from the Marathon Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) were quick to respond to a situation unfolding on Peninsula Road within the town premises. Observing a passenger motor vehicle maneuvering erratically, the officers initiated a traffic stop to investigate the matter further.
The ensuing investigation revealed that the driver was under the influence of alcohol, which led to his arrest. He was then transported to the Marathon OPP Detachment for additional testing to ascertain the extent of his intoxication.
The accused, Mason Hancock, a 19-year-old resident of Marathon, now faces multiple charges which include:
- Operation While Impaired – Alcohol and Drugs
- Operation While Impaired – Blood Alcohol Concentration (80 plus)
- Novice Driver – Blood Alcohol Concentration (B.A.C) Above Zero
- Driving Motor Vehicle with Liquor Readily Available
- Fail to Have Insurance Card
Hancock has since been released from custody and is slated to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Marathon on November 22, 2023.
Understanding The Charges and Penalties
Canada’s Criminal Code sheds light on the seriousness of driving under the influence of substances. According to the code:
- Operation While Impaired: Being convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can lead to a minimum penalty of a $1,000 fine for the first offence. Subsequent offences carry steeper penalties, including imprisonment.
- Operation While Impaired – Blood Alcohol Concentration (80 plus): A conviction for operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 80 mg of alcohol per 100 mL of blood or above can result in similar penalties as the general impairment charge.
- Novice Driver – B.A.C Above Zero: Novice drivers, due to their inexperience, are held to a higher standard and are required to maintain a BAC of zero. Violation of this regulation results in immediate license suspension, fines, and potentially further penalties depending on the circumstances.
- Driving Motor Vehicle with Liquor Readily Available: Having liquor readily available in a vehicle is an offence that could lead to fines and the loss of any liquor being transported.
- Fail to Have Insurance Card: Failure to provide proof of insurance upon request by a law enforcement officer can result in a fine of at least $200.
Tips to Avoid Impaired Driving
The OPP continues its efforts to eradicate alcohol and drug-impaired driving through stringent enforcement and public education. Here are some tips to prevent impaired driving:
- Designate a Sober Driver: Before heading out, designate a sober driver who will abstain from alcohol and drugs.
- Utilize Public Transportation: Make use of public transit, taxis, or ride-share services like U-Ride, Uber or Lyft.
- Stay Over: If possible, plan to stay overnight if you’ll be partaking in activities involving alcohol.
- Use Sober Ride Programs: Engage with local sober ride programs which offer safe transportation options.
- Educate Yourself and Others: Be informed about the risks associated with impaired driving and spread awareness among family and friends.
The OPP stresses the importance of reporting suspected impaired drivers. If you believe someone is driving while impaired, it is crucial to call 9-1-1 and report it to ensure the safety of all road users.